Pro-Common Core group, Collaborative for Student Success, has been spending hand over fist in Iowa according to the political transparency group Sunlight Foundation. They found that the Collaborative for Student Success has controlled early messaging in Iowa having spent over $764,000 for just under 1500 ads run in the state.
The Washington, DC based group receives backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who is the biggest advocate for the Common Core State Standards nationwide. The group has outspent all other presidential Super PACs and campaigns early on. The Sunlight Foundation notes:
That investment trumps the earliest ad buys from super super (sic) PACs focused on presidential politics in that state. American Future Project, a super PAC created by supporters of Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., has spent $218,275 locking down air time, while the Opportunity and Freedom PAC, which supports former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential foray, has devoted a little more than $126,000 to ads so far, publicly available contracts show.
Most super PAC ads will come several months from now, and candidates will likely wait even longer to begin their ad campaigns in earnest.
For example, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the first candidate to officially announce his 2016 campaign, has spent just over $2,000 on air time in that state through his campaign committee.
Caffeinated Thoughts noted how the ad campaign in their first radio ad with Bill Bennett tried to repackage the Common Core. The influence they are trying to wield in Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucuses in February begs the question – if Common Core is truly a state-led initiative, why are they weighing in on presidential campaigns?
The advertising campaigns have not targeted a particular candidate, but there is no doubt it benefits former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is announcing his campaign next week and will travel to Iowa on Wednesday, June 17 for an event at the Molengracht Plaza in Pella at 5:15p. The ads will also benefit the only other prospective candidate who hasn’t backed away from Common Core, Ohio Governor John Kasich who is coming to speak at a Greater Des Moines Partnership event on June 24th.
All of this spending seems to have had little impact in the polls in Iowa however. Bush’s Real Clear Politics average of Iowa polls is 9.4% putting him in 5th place. Kasich is in 13th place with 1.7%.